It is so important for safety that teens don’t text while driving. Of course, actions speak louder than words, so we must begin to educate young drivers through our own example. That is probably not enough alone. We also need to talk to our teens about texting and driving. Finally, we can reinforce the importance of our message by sharing teen texting and driving statistics to help them understand the dangers. Teens need to understand that we are serious and that cell phone use will have consequences. Additionally, here are 7 tools you can use that will stop your teenagers from texting while driving and that may, in the end, save their lives.
Share The Dangers Of Texting While Driving With Your Teen
I suggest educating your teens to the dangers of texting and driving as a starting point. Defensive driving is important and they can’t do it if they aren’t aware of their surroundings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2010, more than 3,000 people were killed and an additional 416,000 were injured due to distracted driving, which includes texting while driving. That is why texting why driving is illegal in the United States in 49 states. A distracted driver is much more likely to get into a car accident.
According to a new, national survey conducted by the Ad Council, thirty-four percent teen of respondents said that they never text while driving. What about the other 66% of teens? That means 66% of the teen age group surveyed are engaging in at least occasional texting while driving. So even if you think your child doesn’t text while driving, it is worth a talk to make sure that they don’t engage in cellphone use while driving!
Texting and driving is an epidemic on America’s roadways, but these crashes are preventable. Distracted driving does not just happen, it’s a choice,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Once your teen understands the dangers of texting and driving make sure they understand the consequences too. A few seconds of carelessness could have a devastating impact on their life and the lives of others. Texting while driving not only jeopardizes the safety of themselves and others, but it can also violate state motor vehicle laws and result in hefty fines or loss of driving privileges. Local laws and state laws may even prohibit the use of a hand-held phone altogether, especially in school zones.
Want to take it a step beyond talking? Well, there is a new public service advertisement on YouTube featuring scenes from season three of Fox’s award-winning television series “Glee” to educate young adult drivers on the dangers of texting while driving. It may be the visual aid you are looking for to demonstrate to overconfident novice drivers that it is not safe to text while driving.
Have that talk and make sure your teen gets where he or she is going!
7 Solutions To Stop Texting And Driving
The increased use of electronic devices in recent years has become the norm. So how do you stop teenagers from texting while driving? Sure, you can and should talk to them about the risks, but when you’re 16 or 17, you feel like you’re immortal. Simply knowing that there are risks isn’t enough deterrent for many young adults. It is always good to have the talk and then have the follow up safety measures too. Try these tools for preventing driver distraction and risky behaviors!
There are apps that prevent teens from texting while driving! They use the phone’s GPS signal to detect when the car is in motion, and they cut off access to the cellular network during those times. The only thing is these apps may not prevent the person from texting while at a stop sign or red light, which can be just as dangerous and distracting. Here is a list of stop texting while driving apps from the American Safety Council.
There are also apps that track whether or not a phone is being used when the car is in motion, and send you a report. These apps can be used to reward your children for following the rules of safe driving. You might set up a system whereby a certain number of text-free trips results in extra time or use of the car, or even a boost in their allowance. One such app is ThisAppSavesLives.com
Parental controls from your cell phone service provider.
Most of the major cell phone providers offer you a variety of parental control options. Usually this is in the form of allowing or denying text or calls during certain times of day or to certain people. At the very least, you could set up a rule that prevents them from texting during the time of day when they’re usually driving to school, work, or wherever their regular schedule takes them.
Another way to keep kids’ fingers off their phones and focused on driving is to let them drive a car with a manual transmission. When you’re driving a stick shift, you have to keep both hands busy, especially when driving through town. They won’t pick up the phone, because they know if they do they can’t stop at the stoplight ahead.
Vehicle based cell phone blockers.
There are a number of devices that connect with your car’s on-board systems to detect when the vehicle is in motion. Some of these products then send off a cell phone blocking signal, preventing your child’s phone from connecting to the cellular network. They might try to send a text, but it just won’t work.
Text to speech apps.
This may not be the ideal solution, but it can work for some teens. Text to speech apps allow the user to create and read text messages audibly. The Siri app on the iPhone is one iteration of this kind of technology. Furthermore, there are many similar apps on the market for other devices. It still offers a certain level of distraction, just not as much distraction as texting itself offers.
Lead by example.
One of the best ways to encourage safe driving habits of any sort is to set a good example for your teen drivers. Just because you’re an adult who’s been driving for 25 years and haven’t had an accident since college doesn’t mean it’s safe for you to text. If she sees you texting, her teenage mind is going to convince itself that it’s OK for her to text, too. This is perhaps your most powerful tool.
Teen Texting And Driving Statistics
Teens need to understand the dangers of texting while driving are serious. Personal stories can be helpful and so can facts. You may want to share these texting and driving statistics with your child to make sure they really get how dangerous it is. This will help reinforce the message of no texting while driving.
- According to thezebra.com, 14% of fatal crashes involved the use of cell phones.
- Texting while driving increases by 400% a driver’s time spent with their eyes off the road.
- The use of a cell phone while driving caused an estimated 1.5 million car crashes in the U.S. in 2017.
- According to policyadvice.net, “A texting and driving violation can lead to a $290 annual increase in insurance premiums.”
My final word of caution for young drivers is that should probably avoid use of even a hands-free device. Their primary task should be to get from point A to point B safely. They don’t need any type of cognitive distraction. I would recommend they silence their phones all together before driving so they don’t even hear instant message notifications. Driving requires full attention to avoid motor vehicle collisions, especially that of inexperienced, younger drivers. Potential distractions such as smartphone use lowers response times and is unquestionably dangerous behavior.
Texting and driving is proving to be extremely dangerous. As time goes on, we’re seeing more and more texting while driving statistics that prove this fact. Encourage your kids to drive safely through conversation and follow up. Consider some of these solutions to help monitor and control their texting activity when you’re not in the car with them. Which tools do you think you will try? If you have questions or suggestions, give me a shout out on social media @familyfocusblog